There are a lot of different platforms available nowadays that allow you to set up an online store easily. While set up can be fairly easy, there are several things you don’t want to overlook when starting. Rushing your setup can lead to missing crucial steps, which in turn leads to more stress! If you’re getting ready to set up your online store, don’t forget these important steps.
I know you’re excited to get your online store off the ground, but before you start uploading any products, you need to get organized. Create a spreadsheet for all of your inventory that you can access whenever you need it. Things that might be included in the spreadsheet are:
- Product SKU
- How many in stock
- Shipping cost
- Product description
- Image thumbnail…
…and anything else that is unique to that product. Having a spreadsheet will keep your inventory organized and will help your web designer or employees easily keep track of them as well.
High Quality Images
Do not skimp on this step! High quality images are the most important part of an e-commerce website. Since your customers can’t physically see, hold or try on your products, good quality images are what will sell them. Not everyone can afford a professional photographer, and that’s ok! If you’re going to DIY, make sure your images are clear, high resolution and show your product at different angles, so your customers really get a feel for them.
A lot of sensitive information will be flowing through your online store, so security is an important thing to consider. A lot of selling platforms come with security features bundled, but you’ll want to make sure that the following are in place before you sell anything:
- SSL – which secures credit card and other sensitive information
- Server protection – usually provided by your hosting company
- Encryption – meaning customers personal information is not stored in plain text
How will you be marketing your products once they are available online? There are a lot of options available, so it’s important to consider the avenues that will offer the best return on investment. Social media and email marketing are game changers for online stores. If you have the budget, you may want to consider PPC ads as well. Think about where your target audience hangs out online and come up with a plan to get in front of them
Once you do have your site up and running, it’s important to make sure you do regular backups of your content to help you recover in case accidents happen. Ideally, your web host will do automatic backups of your information, but if that isn’t the case, invest in a backup software that will give you peace of mind. Trust us, it’s worth it.
The above steps will help you create a store that is easy to manage and scale, so the launch of your online store is as stress free and secure as possible.